Thursday, January 24, 2008
Michael Todd Simpson
Here's a guy who can make Silvio in Pagliacci and, more remarkably, Gugliemo in Cosi fan Tutte look sexy. That alone would get him onto Barihunks, but he's obviously pretty hot in his own right. I would like to see Michael Todd Simpson as Stanley in a Streetcar Named Desire revival or in Iphiigenie in Tauride.
This steamy barihunk is currently singing Escamillo in Australia and I have no doubt that Don Jose will come out on the short end again.
This season he made debuts at the Florida Grand Opera as Guglielmo in Cosí fan tutte, the New York City Opera as Silvio in Pagliacci and the Fort Worth Opera as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. He recently performed Silvio for his debuts at the Pittsburgh Opera, the Dallas Opera, and the Palm Beach Opera, and for his return to the Virginia Opera.
A graduate of the Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program, Mr. Simpson made his mainstage debut there as Hermann in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and has since appeared as Marcello in La Bohéme. Also a member of the Young American Artists Program at Glimmerglas Opera, he recently appeared there as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. While in the program, he sang the role of Tooley in the American premiere of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's The Mines of Sulphur, which was recorded and released by Chandos Records in 2005.
A native of Gastonia, NC, Simpson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal performance from Erskine College in Due West, SC, where he was the first place winner of the 1996 and 1999 South Carolina National Association of Teachers of Singing vocal competition. He earned his Masters of Music degree at the College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati where he was a regional winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mr. Simpson's recent awards include the Spanish Prize in the 2007 José Iturbi International Music Competition, first prize in the first annual Marguerite McCammon Voice Competition, the Sara Tucker Study Grant awarded by the Richard Tucker Foundation and the Richard F. Gold Career Grant.